Grimmer’s course record 62 vaults him into lead in Arizona
LITCHFIELD PARK, Arizona—Will Grimmer opened PGA TOUR Canada’s Qualifying Tournament at The Wigwam’s Gold Course by shooting a 6-over 78. It’s usually the kind of score that can knock a player out of a chase for a playing card on the first day. Not this year. Following a 4-under 68 on day two, the former Ohio State Buckeye was 16 shots better than in his opening round, shooting a course record 10-under 62 that has him at 8-under and a stroke ahead of Blake Tomlinson. Andrew Garner and amateurs Jason Hong and Viraj Garewal, the second-round co-leaders, are two behind. Four other players are only three behind.
Even after his opening 78, Grimmer was so confident in the way he was playing that he felt he could get himself back in contention. “I walked away from that 78 saying, ‘I played great golf,’” he explained. “I just feel I’m probably swinging it the best I have in several years, and my putting has been great for the last year and a half. It just felt like once I get my irons and driver back, look out. I’m going to start shooting some low numbers.
“I walked away with the short end of the wave in the afternoon on Tuesday,” he continued. “There was nothing I could do about that, and I knew I had 54 holes to go get back in it.”
Grimmer accomplished that with a 10-birdie, no-bogey performance that saw him drain 133 feet worth of putts, and that included a missed five-footer on his opening hole of the day. “I wanted that one back,” he said. No matter. Grimmer birdied the second, fourth and fifth holes. “I was off and running.”
Tomlinson used a torrid start to his day, playing the back nine first, to get things going. After birdies on his first two holes and a par on the third, he reeled off four in succession, punctuated by a holed bunker shot on No. 15. “Yeah, I hit it too hard. Luckily the pin caught it,” he said. After he birdied No. 1 after making the turn, things cooled down for him, as he made five pars and bogeys at Nos. 4, 6 and 9.
“The putter was hot on the first nine. I was hitting the ball decent and putting myself in good spots. I cooled down on the back nine and hit a couple of wayward tee shots,” Tomlinson observed. “I just didn’t make as many putts, as many as I needed to.”
Garner has knocked three shots off of his score each of the last two days following his opening, 1-over 73. His 5-under 67 came courtesy of nothing but birdies and pars after he opened the day with a disappointing bogey-6 on the par-5 first.
Hong and Garewal remain tied but are now chasing after they both fired 2-under 70s. They went about their days differently, the final score the same but how they got there not similar. Garewal had four birdies and two bogeys, while Hong made four birdies in a row to start his round, added two more birdies but also had four bogeys.
The leaders will tee off in Friday’s final round at 1:10 p.m., MDT. Grimmer will play with Tomlinson and Garner.